Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Best Case/Worst Case: The Carmichael Show

Best Case/Worst Case lays out possible scenarios for broadcast primetime TV seasons yet to premiere. Here's what's premiering tonight!

The Carmichael Show
1.03 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
61 1.32 Wednesday 9:00

Timeslot OccupantsSunday Night Football
Avg Orig Avg
5.44 1.40 7.72 6.52

In a Nutshell: The Carmichael Show's first season consisted of six episodes across three weeks after America's Got Talent last summer. Though its ratings were pretty indistinguishable from Mr. Robinson, which had a similar three-week run, the better-reviewed Carmichael won out in the renewal race. And like summer 2014 comedy Undateable, its second season gets a shot on the regular season stage. It previews after The Voice's annual "Best of the Blinds" special tonight, then airs on Sundays after Little Big Shots.

Best Case: Little Big Shots is a big hit, so big that it's actually a noticeable upgrade on the America's Got Talent lead-ins that Carmichael got last summer. The critics are behind this show, and the buzz gets it close to an Undateable-esque sophomore bounce, rising 40% or more from its season one average to a 1.50.

Worst Case: It's broadcast Sunday. Nothing works. Little Big Shots starts OK this week but quickly flames out, and Carmichael manages barely half of its modest ratings. 0.65.

Likeliest: I can't see this getting a fully Undateable-sized sophomore bounce; Undateable was coming from such a rotten situation in season one, while Carmichael actually had a pretty good one. That said, I think this NBC lineup will have an audience that's fairly immune to the cable competition that plagues other Sunday efforts, and it looks like Little Big Shots could match or even exceed the high-1's that Talent got on Wednesday in the summer. I think Carmichael does about the same retention as last year, and thus matches or slightly beats the 1.1ish that it averaged for the 9:00 episodes last summer. (It'll benefit a bit relative to the above average since it won't have to air second episodes at 9:30 beyond this week). 1.14. Likely not good enough for a fall timeslot (Superstore seems like the better bet there), but it may get another midseason filler role.

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